Let’s Remember All Our Children
The tragic, recent earthquake in San Giuliano di Puglia came in the wake of our own unforgettable catastrophe of 9/11, just as we brace ourselves for still more death and destruction in Iraq . . . and perhaps beyond.
The week before Christmas I was invited by Pastor Cogo and Sister Marialice Ackermann, principal of Our Lady of Pompeii School, located on Bleeker Street in lower Manhattan, to be part of the meaningful ceremony of a presentation of donated books for their school library.
The generosity of Emigrant Savings Bank and Mr. Theodore C. Morehouse, III, Senior Vice President, providing new books for the school children delivers exactly the right message at a most appropriate moment in our history and memorializes the children in Italy.
We recognize the accomplishment of Songmasters, who established the sponsorship of Emigrant Savings Bank for its initiative, Building the Future One Life At A Time. Communities In Schools with my good friends, Dr. Roy Blash and Steve Menchini, organized the event for Songmasters.
Most of us are not wise enough to comprehend all of God’s design, but we do know this: that the one precious gift we have is the life still in us and the ability to do all we can to make that life as sweet, safe, rich and fulfilling as we can.
The Mentoring USA program is committed to improving the life of children at risk by providing mentors who offer them—on a personal
one-to-one basis—guidance, understanding and love.
An important part of the Mentoring USA program is training every mentor to bring a book to read and share with the mentee. The mentor’s effort encourages the child to expand his or her knowledge and education by reading worthwhile books as often as possible.
I hope the children will read more and be eager to share and express themselves writing with pen pals in Italy. The Director of our more than 65 programs in Italy (Mentoring USA/Italia) will communicate with Sister Ackermann to set up a pen pal connection with the children of the Molise community devastated by the earthquake.
This will help both children here and in Italy to learn a lesson which I learned a long time ago from one of my own mentors, my father, who came from Sicily and taught my siblings and me—“Tutto il mondo e paese”—all the world is one.
That means the beautiful young children who were taken so suddenly and so early in their life in the Italian earthquake were our children, our brothers and our sisters, as are all the suffering children and young victims in our own country and all over the world. So we should love them, care about them, and remember them always.
That is what we are trying to say with the gift of books for the children, thanks to Emigrant Savings Bank.
Reading good books will open up their minds to the breadth and beauty of this world and all its wonderful possibilities.#
Matilda Cuomo is Founder and Chair, Mentoring USA. (www.mentoringusa.org, email@example.com)